Wednesday, 25 February 2015


Spring has arrived!  Things have been a bit quiet at Chez MacLeod mainly because we have been working hard on other things.

I like gifts ... and nothing is better than a gift of an unwanted piece of kit which is going to be thrown out when friends down-size.  I have been the proud recipient of this 

A wheel barrow!
Today, being the first day it has been warm enough to get out to do chores in the garden, I gave it a formal launch into service.  It is light, and just dandy for any jobs I need to do in my little patch.  So thank you Brian and Maggie; as they say in Glasgow, "It's Pure Dead Brilliant!"

There is only one thing I want to do it now ... paint it PINK!  At least I think I will paint the handles pink and I have decided that the colour of wee Harriet's wellies would be just fine.

Inspection time shows we have some, well almost come ....through the winter successfully.  

 All the bulbs have survived.  My squirrel-proof mesh covers worked.

Harriet, 19 months,  watching the hailstones cover the back garden.

 Alpine plant gets a pelting of hailstones between the sunny outbreaks.

The eucalyptus tree I planted carefully in a sheltered corner has, so far, not been affected by cold or frost.

We're off to the park now.....

Friday, 20 February 2015


The reason we have been so pre-occupied this month s that Iain and I have been updating the Clyde Cruising Club Sailing Directions for NE Scotland, Orkney and Shetland.  We have had our heads down for weeks now.

  One of the jobs I am doing is choosing photos for this new edition.  Here follows 2 photos taken in 2007 that are not going to be used.   :(

Briain's photo:   Brian and Maggie's boat (Westerly, white) Arctica with us (Seol-na-Mara) tied alongside at Stronsay Pier. Stronsay is an island in the Orkney group, east of the Main Island.

My photo:   A Bugatti on Stronsay pier early one morning! 

We were moored as shown in the above photo but Brian and Maggie had departed.  I awoke at 7:00 am to the sound of the big ferry (astern of us) revving up!  In my night attire (aka T shirt and knickers) I climbed out into the cock-pit and inserted the jack staff in the stern.  (The is my early morning ritual as I am a stickler for flag etiquette!) Anyhow, as I was doing this my attention was diverted: I heard the flip-flop, flip-flop sound of (and within my limited vision feet 7 feet above my head) a tribe (what is the collective noun for a group of monks?) walking a single line, hems of black robes swishing, heading for the ferry.! Uh-h-h.... hello?!  Nothing for it I climbed up the ladder which was right next to us (I must have shoved on a pair of jeans...) and when I got to the top of the ladder and clamboured on to the hard surface of the pier ... this Bugatti was parked right there (which had been out of my sight 7 feet below) forming the head of the queue awaiting to drive on the ferry!  The conga line of monks (from the monastery oh Papa Stronsay) had made their way on to the ferry in readiness for the trip to Kikwall.  

I think that is a much more interesting picture than perches and rocks showing at low tide!

Monday, 2 February 2015


Today is Alastair's 7th birthday.  We had a birthday party for him yesterday (Sunday) in the form of dinner and a big chocolate cake with 7 candles.

 Here is the Birthday Boy

 And here is Baby Ellie, just under one week old (i.e. I took the photo a week ago.)

A glimpse of everyone: Baby Ellie on the floor in her infant seat, Iain, Alastair, Ishbel, Mairi and Harriet in her party dress from Auntie Dawn originally given as a gift to big sisiter, Ishbel.

Friday, 23 January 2015


Mairi and John, and big sister Ishbel, big brother Alastair and wee sister Harriet now have a lovely new baby sister who was born 3 days ago.

She weighed in at 8 lbs 5 oz, a lovely healthy baby!  Mother and babe both well.  She is named after and grandmother of John's and also the daughter of Iain's cousin, Ken.  She is going to be called Ellie.

Who is she like?  She is just like her 3 siblings.  John pulled out the other childrens' newborn photos and we had difficulty telling them apart!

Ishbel and Alastair are very excited about her arrival and are very good at holding her when seated on the sofa.  Harriet, aged 1 1/2 is quite bemused by this new person in her life!  Like Ishbel and Alastair these 2 are close in age which means they will have each other as playmates.

Sunday, 18 January 2015


Today we got a lift.  It was a bright, sunny day after many days of snow storms and gale force winds. Yes, it is cold but definitely a day to be out.

Sunday morning and Harriet and I headed to the park then the back yard.  It was marvelous!  Back in our own garden I enjoyed sitting in the sunny corner at the back door where it was warm and invigorating.  It's contrast that makes for life's little pleasures.

Mairi's orchid which sits on the window ledge at the dining room table.  The sun lit it up from the back while I was eating breakfast.

A Little Red Munchkin!

Saturday, 17 January 2015


Ishbel, Alastair and wee Harriet are getting excited as their new baby brother or sister is now due.  As I anxiously look out the window at the falling snow I hope it soon passes over so we can manage to get out and about in readiness for the delivery of this new little person.

First thing this morning I shoveled the driveway just to make sure there would be no hold-up if I got a phone call to say Mairi had gone into labour and was off to the hospital.

Meanwhile, at home, Mairi's 9 months is nearly over. This is John's photo of Ishbel and Alastair building a snowman outside while Mairi and Harriet look out the window.

I looked out the window at 10 pm to see Mr Fox heading down the street, no doubt hungry in this winter weather.

Babies come in their own time ... time to close the curtains and put my feet up in front of the fire.

Thursday, 15 January 2015


Harriet, along with the rest of us, is waiting for a new little brother or sister due any day now.  Mairi's expected date of confinement is tomorrow!

Today this little popit and I spent some time together ... doing what she like doing - 'shopping'.  (She like to trail around the house with a shopping bag full of toys.)

So off we went to get supplies as we ride out this bad weather we have been having lately. Snow yesterday and gale force winds today.  Today the snow has melted so it was time to run to the supermarket for supplies.

We all love a French baguette and nothing keeps this little person seated in the trolley better than a baquette wedged vertically into the corner of the trolley.

Who is the little Munchkin Mouse munching the end off it as we head up and down the aisles?

She loves seeing herself in the mirror!

 A close-up, taken of her image in the mirror.

It's coffee time...

Harriet likes to people-watch ... and made the shoppers smile as she says "Bye bye" to the people, often elderly, who are leaving the check-out for the exit.

When departing she wouldn't sit in the infant seat but wanted to stand in the front 'driving' the trolley.  At this point she had taken my wooly hat off and was an object of great amusement to all watching us head to the door!

Our short route to the car park goes along the Allander burn which was in full flow from all the recent rain. The wind was pretty strong so it was only a momentary stop en route to the car .. as we headed home along with what was left of the baguette!